They’re the first people we turn to when we need to raise money after a crisis, now our own Aussie musicians are the ones needing urgent help.

Some of Australia’s biggest artists, including Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Midnight Oil and Pete Murray, have signed an open letter calling on the government to allow JobKeeper to continue for struggling performers.

The constant wave of lockdowns, state border closures and audience limitations has made it impossible for the music and live entertainment industry to properly restart.

Since March 2020, not one Australian artist has been able to tour nationally, which is where the money is.

“We live and earn our money from touring,” Pete Murray told 96FM’s Sean Frazer.

“It’s a tough thing, if you can’t tour, you can’t play to people… that’s where your bread and butter is, that’s what it comes down to.”

Despite Australia being ahead of most countries, new figures have revealed that live music alone is operating at under 4 per cent of the level compared to this time last year.

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“JobKeeper has been great, but it’s not the same as when you can work, so that’s gotta stay up,” Murray said.

“I have professional musicians, I have crew, these guys rely on work, they work week-to-week and they need that money coming in.

“It’s for the wellbeing of everybody.”

Research shows three dollars are generated from every $1 spent on live music.

More than 3500 music industry workers, venues and businesses have signed the petition, which makes a dire prediction if it’s not appropriately supported.

“The result for Australian music and live entertainment would be catastrophic.”

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Read the open letter here

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